JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A dog abandoned at a local park due to rising rent is shedding a light on just how severe the housing situation in our community is.
“Has all of her shots very friendly, unable to keep due to raising my rent." That was the message left on a note attached to a bag of dog food left with this 10-month-old dog left alone at the John Roberts dog park.
“Having to decide between keeping your pets and being able to afford to live, it can't be an easy decision to make… I been in this for a spot with our animals too. And I would want someone if I had to make that decision to come help out too," Brittany Francsicus, who rescued the dog, said.
Francsicus took the dog home after seeing the note and the dog’s picture posted on the Facebook group “Lost Pets of Jacksonville.”
The group’s owner says unfortunately she noticed more pets are being abandoned as rent prices drive families out of their homes.
"We have found a lot of dogs abandoned with notes…They love them. They've been with their family for a long time. But they're either getting kicked out of their house… They cannot afford to feed them," Karen Hayt, owner of the Facebook group Lost Pets of Jacksonville said.
In fact, Jacksonville city's Animal Care and Protective Services shelter is currently over capacity. There are 292 dogs currently in the shelter but there are only 264 dog kennels.
Having 6 pets of her own, Francsicus couldn’t keep the abandoned dog forever, but the Facebook group solved that problem as well. Another couple reached out to Francsicus and have adopted the dog into their family, renaming her Luna.
“I'm very happy and I made sure to like check in on her today to make sure that she was okay with the fireworks. They did take her to the vet. She's not spayed and she doesn't have a chip. They got her shots. And she's, the lady said she's best friends with her kids. So a great ending," Francsicus said.
If pet owners are struggling Hayt suggests finding a pet food bank at a local shelter, 'First Coast No More Homeless Pets' offers supplies to families facing finical strain.
"We reach out with compassion. I think that's the most important thing because everybody has problems at some point," Hayt said.
If you have to surrender your animal, try to find a foster family first, or call a shelter and make an appointment to surrender. Never abandoned an animal outside.
Shelters are also in need of foster families, which allows for the temporary housing of pets and helps to free up kennels. More information about fostering with the city's Animal Care and Protective Services can be found here.